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Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the ESCWA Region, 2008-2009, Summary

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Even before the international financial crisis, the ESCWA region as a whole was not expected to meet the Millennium Development Goals in view of the already inadequate structure of existing policies. On the economic side, industrialization and full-employment policies remained elusive goals. On the social side, there were some remarkable advances in health and education, but the region was still far from realizing its developmental potential. This publication is a summary of the Survey of Economic and Social Developments in the ESCWA Region 2008-2009, which will be published soon and will explore the cyclical and structural policy alternatives available to the region to tackle the impact of the global financial crisis. It highlights the required fiscal, monetary and financial, trade and industrial policies required to deal with the global financial crisis. The Survey also provides an in-depth analysis of the recommendations set forth in the “Damascus Declaration on Responding to the International Financial Crisis in the ESCWA Region”, which was adopted at the “Regional High-level Consultative Forum on the Impact of the International Financial Crisis on ESCWA Member Countries: The Way Forward” (Damascus, 5-7 May 2009). It demonstrates how the recommended policies could lead to a more effective response to the crisis and even create an opportunity for member countries to benefit from it.